Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Rotten Eggs

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Rotten Eggs – 6 Important Reasons

You open the dishwasher door, and a whiff of bad smell catches you off guard, a foul rotten egg like smell- has this ever happened to you? If yes, you have come to the right place for some solid advice on why does my dishwasher smell like rotten eggs; I ...

By Jeanette Wilson

You open the dishwasher door, and a whiff of bad smell catches you off guard, a foul rotten egg like smell- has this ever happened to you? If yes, you have come to the right place for some solid advice on why does my dishwasher smell like rotten eggs; I mean yours. Mine smells fresh because I dug up some amazing remedies that got rid of that foul rotten egg smell from my dishwasher unit. 

Want in on the secrets (not really)? Don’t worry, my friend; I got you! Keep on reading for some awesome tips and tricks on getting rid of that rotten egg smell from the dishwasher and also knowing the root cause of it because prevention is definitely better than cure. 

Let’s dive right into it, shall we? 

Why Does My Dishwasher Smell Like Rotten Eggs- The Exact Reasons 

There can be many reasons why your dishwasher might smell like rotten eggs. But these are the most common reasons why it can happen- 

Sulfur Buildup 

The stench that might result from sulfur buildup in a dishwasher is sometimes compared to that of rotten eggs. This is due to sulfur’s ability to generate hydrogen sulfide, a gas that has a definite smell of rotten eggs. 

The bottom of the dishwasher, the filter, and the spray arm are common locations where sulfur can collect in a dishwasher and react with water to form this gas. To stop additional collection and potential damage to your dishwasher, it’s crucial to take immediate action if you get that sulfur smell, AKA rotten eggs, in your dishwasher.

Poor Dishwasher Maintenance

If you are not doing routine cleaning, maintaining the dishwasher’s hygiene and keeping stuff checked up, there is a good chance that your dishwasher will smell like rotten eggs. Over time, these appliances get old, and with use, they wear out and get damaged. If you don’t replace the necessary parts on time, it produces a foul sulfur-like smell. 

Check the Door Gasket. Is it Clean? 

The black rubber seal that protects your dishwasher door is called a door gasket. The gasket’s job is to stop water from escaping while the cycle is running. We often ignore this part, and while cleaning, we don’t usually reach for the door gasket. 

Food residue can accumulate on the door gasket over time, which may be one of the dishwasher odor causes. Also, detergent buildup combined with a moist environment contributes to the issue. Cleaning the gasket with mild dish soap and warm water could fix the problem.

Dirty Dishwasher Filter 

Filters that are clogged are one of the most crucial reasons for your dishwasher to smell like rotten eggs. We frequently neglect to clean the cleaner, in this case, the dishwasher’s filter. Food particles may get trapped in the filter between and during washes. And, are you aware of what happens when food is kept in a warm, damp environment? Yup, it rots and develops a foul stench as a result. Clogged filters are your worst nightmare when it comes to a smelly dishwasher, be cautious. 

Inspect the Garbage Disposal 

Dishwashers often pump wastewater through a hose into your garbage disposal if you have one. Not properly cleaning the garbage disposal may produce a rotten egg-like smell. Want to maintain proper kitchen hygiene? Start with the garbage disposal system, and it will save you a lot of headaches, take my word for it. Trust me, I know! 

Hard Water Problem 

Yes, poor water quality can also lead to this issue. Your dishwasher may start to smell like rotten eggs if you have hard water, which has high quantities of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Hard water heating can result in mineral deposits being left behind, which can collect over time and add to the sulfur stench. 

What you can do is install a water softener at the source of it and enjoy a clean dishwasher. Be careful if you are planning to take the DIY route; dishwasher repairs are pretty expensive. 

Some Dishwasher Cleaning Tips to Resolve the Rotten Egg Smelling Issue 

Now that you know why your dishwasher might smell like rotten eggs, here are some cleaning tips to get it smelling as fresh as new. 

  • Clean the dishwasher filter – As you already know, a dirty dishwasher filter is the leading cause of your dishwasher smelling disgusting. Clean the filter with this mixture- a mild detergent, one part vinegar, one part water and a squeeze of lemon. This will work wonders, and don’t forget to thank me later. 
  • Check the spray arm – The spray arm, which distributes water throughout your dishwasher, check that it might add to the sulfur odor if it is clogged or unclean. Take the spray arm off and give it a good cleaning with soap and water.
  • Get a water softener– Since hard water is a culprit that leads to bad odor, consider getting a water softener. It will help reduce the mineral content from the water, thus the smell. 
  • Run a hot water cycle and add vinegar – A high-temperature cycle will kill all the bacteria that are adding to the issue. Use vinegar, a natural cleanser and odor remover while at it. Vinegar is a natural cleanser that helps remove mineral deposits and any residual grease. With the usage of vinegar, your dishwasher will be cleaned and refreshed. 

So that is it; that is the end of my super secret tips and tricks to a fresh-smelling dishwasher!


Is it safe to use a dishwasher that smells like rotten eggs?

Not at all! Due to the fact that bacterial growth causes foul smells. Would you want to include that in the cutlery you use on a regular basis? I think the answer is NO.

What are some effective cleaning solutions for getting rid of the smell?

There are many dishwasher cleaners dedicated to the job available in the market. However, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and mild soap will do a stunning job too.

Can you use bleach to clean a dishwasher that smells like rotten eggs?

While bleach is a powerful cleaner that can effectively kill bacteria and eliminate odors, it is generally not recommended to use bleach to clean a dishwasher that smells like rotten eggs. 

This is because bleach can react with any sulfur buildup in your dishwasher and produce a toxic gas called chlorine gas. Chlorine gas can be extremely dangerous if inhaled and can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, and other health issues.

Are there any dishwasher parts that may need to be replaced to get rid of the smell?

You might need to replace the dishwasher filter depending on its condition of it. Sometimes, the gasket also requires a much-needed replacement.

Is there a connection between hard water and a dishwasher smelling like rotten eggs?

Sure is! Hard water contains a lot of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Accumulation of such minerals leads to the dishwasher smelling bad.

Final Verdict 

For many homeowners or renters like you and me, a smelly dishwasher is an unpleasant problem, to say the least. But you can follow some simple and easy steps to handle it like a pro! Also, routine upkeep and general hygiene maintenance will greatly improve the issue. Remember, it is also a health hazard if you continue to use a smelly dishwasher! Because bad smells are caused by breeding bacteria. Would you want to incorporate that in the cutleries that you use daily? I don’t think so! 

Hope you got the answer to the ‘why does my dishwasher smell like rotten eggs?’ query. Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions. Also read How To Deodorize Dishwasher With Baking Soda.

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Jeanette Wilson has spent the last 12+ years designing, testing, and improving kitchen gadgets and appliances. She also knows her way around a home and professional kitchen, as she is a passionate home cook and runs her own roadside eatery.

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